Belfast Telegraph

Sisters review: Sibling rivalry is child's play

By Staff Reporter

You can't choose your family but you can berate, undermine, sabotage and deceive them. Only your loved ones can forgive those petty and occasionally vindictive transgressions that are part of growing up. In Jason Moore's raucous comedy, chalk 'n' cheese siblings rediscover their childhoods and rub salt into old wounds as they search for a path through the detritus of their unfulfilling 40-something routines.

Saturday Night Live alumni and friends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who have worked together for more than 20 years, share sparkling screen chemistry as the dysfunctional siblings who still feel comfortable sharing a bath or reading aloud scribblings in their high school diaries.

They are the film's strongest asset, wringing chuckles from Paula Pell's hit and miss script in an entertaining portrait of modern womanhood.

Bucky Ellis (James Brolin) and wife Deana (Dianne Wiest) video call their daughter Maura (Poehler) to inform her that they intend to downsize the family home to a compact and bijou retirement apartment.

The parents ask Maura to break the bad news to sister, Kate (Fey), who has a flair for overreaction.

Once the dust settles, the siblings make a cross-country odyssey to their childhood home to clear out their shared bedroom before new owners take possession.

A wave of heady nostalgia washes over Maura and Kate and they decide to bid farewell to childish things by throwing one final party.

While Kate reignites a long-standing feud and rebuilds bridges with her artistically gifted daughter (Madison Davenport), Maura finally accepts there is romantic life after divorce and flirts with a hunky local handyman.

"I really am so fun. I shouldn't keep that to myself," observes Maura by way of self-assurance.

Sisters rides a gentle wave of emotional peaks and troughs, including one hysterical sequence involving a ballerina music box.

Three stars

Belfast Telegraph


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